Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Re-make of Grandma's 5 Hour Stew

2 cans tomato soup (don't add water or milk)
1/2 onion (chopped) (Add more if desired)
1 lb. stew meat
3 stalks of celery (chopped)
4 carrots (chopped)
5 potatoes (chopped & cubed)
1/2 bag frozen peas
Salt & Pepper to taste

Add the uncooked stew meat to the bottom of the crockpot. Then add in the following order:
Chopped onions, chopped carrots, chopped celery, cubed potatoes, 2 cans tomato soup and Salt & pepper to taste. Turn on med or low on your crockpot and let it cook! About 1/2 hour before serving, add the frozen peas. Yum!

My Grandma Briggs was an amazing cook. Although I especially enjoyed her sunday cake and ice cream, her other meals were just as fabulous! She used her pretty pink pot to cook this dish, but I have since updated the recipe with a crockpot. This is an easy peasy dish! Enjoy!

Zucchini Brownies

A special thanks to Kara's Kitchen Creations for this wonderful recipe

1 1/2 cups sugar
3/4 cup oil
2 tsp vanilla
2 cups grated zucchini
2 cups flour
1/3 cup cocoa
1 1/2 tsp soda
1 tsp salt
1/2 cup chopped nuts (optional)

In your kitchen aid or mixer, beat sugar, oil, vanilla, and zucchini until well blended. Stir in the remaining ingredients. Spread into a greased 9x13" pan. Bake at 350 for 30-35 minutes or till toothpick comes out clean. Frost with chocolate frosting.


3 Tbsp melted butter
2 Tbsp cocoa
2 cups powdered sugar
2-3 Tbsp buttermilk (or milk)
dash of salt
1 tsp vanilla

Stir together butter and cocoa until it's smooth. Beat in remaining ingredients, adding buttermilk until it's the consistency you like.

I have to admit I was VERY skeptical about this recipe. Truth be told...I'm NOT a big vegetable eater...my family is...but not me! So when I first saw these I thought we'd give it a try. After all it is zucchini surrounded by chocolate right? So I gave it a go. We were excited to try this hot out of the oven. NOT a big fan! I thought it tasted too vegetable like. But just as I was going to throw them away the next day I decided to try it one more time. They were fantastic! They were so moist and not very vegetable like at all!..And to think I was going to throw them away!! You must try these.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Erika's Favorite Pie Crust

(Makes 2 Pie Crusts)

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon sugar
2 sticks chilled unsalted butter, cut into pieces (Yes, 2...I said 2 sticks of butta)

  1. To make the dough for the pie crust, mix 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour and 1 teaspoon each salt and sugar in a medium-size bowl. Cut 2 sticks chilled unsalted butter into pieces. With a pastry blender, cut in butter, working until mixture resembles coarse meal.
  2. Add 4 tablespoons ice water; work with hands until dough comes together. If dough is still crumbly, add more ice water a tablespoon at a time (up to 4 more tablespoons). Do not overwork.
  3. Divide dough in half, and flatten halves into disks. Wrap disks separately in plastic; refrigerate at least 1 hour.
  4. To form the pie shell, roll the dough on a floured surface into a 14-inch round. Wrap around rolling pin and carefully unroll over a 9-inch pie plate.
  5. Fit gently into bottom and side of plate. Use kitchen shears to trim dough to a 1-inch overhang; fold under, and seal to form a rim.
  6. Crimp rim with fingertips and knuckle. Repeat with remaining dough; wrap each with plastic, stack, and freeze.(If you don't want to freeze your pie crust, you can make bake your pie crust according to the directions of the pie recipe you are using.)

I really like this pie crust recipe. It has yet to disappoint me. I also like to make plenty for the freezer so when I need to make a quick pie I already have it on hand.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Mint Brownies To Die For

I found this FABULOUS recipe from Kara's Kitchen Creations. Thanks Kara for adding an extra 25 lbs. I didn't need! Wink wink!

3 cups sugar
3 cups flour
3/4-1 cup cocoa
1 1/2 tsp salt
6 eggs
1 1/2 cups oil
3/4 cup milk
Combine all ingredients in order listed and mix till smooth. Pour into a well greased 15x10" jelly roll pan. Bake at 350 for about 20-25 minutes. Cool completely.

Mint Layer:
1/2 cup soft butter
4 cups powdered sugar
1-2 tsp peppermint extract (I use 2 because I like them really minty.)
2 Tbsp water (approximately)
Pinch of salt
A few drops of green food coloring
Beat till smooth and spread evenly over brownies. Chill for a few minutes to set.

Chocolate topping:
2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
6 Tbsp butter
Melt butter in glass bowl in microwave. Add chips and cook at 50% power, stirring every 30 seconds, until melted and smooth. Drizzle over mint layer. Chill for 1 hour.

*Holy smokes! I think I need to re-name this recipe "Brownies for a crowd"! This made enough for your whole ward! Too bad I almost ate the whole pan all by myself! The only thing I would do differently is ...I think I would cut the chocolate topping in half, and use milk chocolate instead of semi-sweet other then that...Simply to die for!

Honey Lime Chicken Marinade

Juice of 2 limes
4 Tbs. Honey
1 tsp. cumin
3 T. Cilantro, finely chopped
4 T. olive oil
Chicken breasts

Squeeze the juice from the two limes (I like to pop my limes in the microwave for about 20 seconds, and then roll them on the counter using slight pressure to make them a little more juicy). Marinate over night. Grill. Enjoy!

*We tried the original recipe below, but we didn't make them exactly like the recipe calls for. We added sliced melted Swiss cheese, mayo, tomato, lettuce, and mustard. I felt it really lacked flavor this way. Next time I think we'll either make it as a marinade (which was DELISH) or we'll make it the way suggested.

Or...you can make.....

Home lime chicken sandwiches

Original Recipe from The Recipe Shoebox

The juice of one lime
2 Tbs. honey
1 tsp. cumin
3 Tbs. cilantro, finely chopped
2 Tbs. olive oil
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (I sliced the chicken breasts in half)
1 tsp. steak seasoning blend (or salt and pepper to taste)
4 crusty rolls, split (we used hamburger buns we had on hand, I'm sure the other rolls would be much better)

Tomato, sliced
Red onion, sliced
Avocado, sliced
1 cup salsa

Combine lime juice, honey, cumin, cilantro, and olive oil in a small bowl to make marinade. Sprinkle chicken with seasoning blend or salt and pepper. Coat chicken in marinade and set aside for 10 minutes.
Grill chicken for 6-7 minutes on each side (or pan fry over medium high heat in a large nonstick skillet, uncovered, six minutes per side.
Slice grilled chicken on an angle and pile on roll bottoms. Top with lettuce, tomato, red onion, and sliced avocado. Spread salsa on roll tops.

Pioneer Woman's "Best Baked Beans Ever"

Original recipe from The Pioneer Woman

8 slices bacon, halved
1 medium onion, cut into small dice
1/2 medium green pepper, cut into small dice
3 large cans (28 ounces each) pork and beans (We used 3 15 oz. cans)
3/4 cup barbecue sauce
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup distilled or cider vinegar
2 teaspoons dry mustard or 2 tablespoons Dijon
We also added 8 pieces of cooked crumbled bacon into the beans

Adjust oven rack to lower-middle position and heat oven to 325 degrees. Fry bacon in large, deep sauté pan skillet until bacon has partially cooked and released about 1/4 cup drippings. Remove bacon from pan and drain on paper towels. Add onions and peppers to drippings in pan and sauté until tender, about 5 minutes. Add beans and remaining ingredients bring to a simmer. (If skillet is not large enough, add beans and heat to a simmer then transfer to a large bowl and stir in remaining ingredients). Pour flavored beans into a greased 13-by 9-inch (or similar size) ovenproof pan. Top with bacon, then bake until beans are bubbly and sauce is the consistency of pancake syrup, about 2 hours. Let stand to thicken slightly and serve.

I think every family has their "family favorite" baked bean recipe. Not me, I like 'em all! This had more of a smoky flavor to it then my other baked bean recipe I have. It truly tasted like cowboy dutch oven baked beans that were made after a long hard day herding cattle. Yum!

Orange Breakfast Bread

Original recipe found HERE from Recipe Box

2 rolls Hungry Jack Biscuits (or other flaky pull apart biscuits) (We used 3 cans or buttermilk biscuits)
1/2 c. orange juice
1/2 c. butter
1 cup sugar

Lightly pull apart a couple of layers on each biscuit, then lay the biscuits standing on end in greased bundt pan.
Combine orange juice, butter, and sugar in small saucepan and stir until boiling and the sugar is dissolved. Pour as much sauce as you can over the biscuits, and in between if possible. If it all doesn't fit, save some to make a glaze with the left over sauce. Bake at 350 degrees for 30-35 minutes. Invert on a serving plate and serve warm.

*I had about a half of pan of left over sauce that I put in my kitchen aid. Then I dumped in some powdered sugar and mixed on high to get the desired consistency. Then I poured the glaze over the warm bread.

Next time I'd like to try these with the rolls that are recommended. The buttermilk biscuits were all we had on hand. But they were still delicious!!!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Cucumber Ranch Salsa

I found the original recipe from Mrs. Suzie Homemaker. Thanks Mrs. Suzie Homemaker!

3 medium cucumbers - peeled, seeded, and chopped (I only used 1 large English cucumber)
5 medium tomatoes, chopped
1 chopped green bell pepper
1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and minced
1 small onion, chopped
3 clove garlic, minced
2 tablespoons lime juice
1/4 cup minced fresh cilantro
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1 package ranch dressing mix (dry)

In a medium bowl, stir together the cucumbers, tomatoes, green pepper, jalapeno pepper, onion, garlic, lime juice, cilantro, pepper, ranch dressing mix, and salt.
Cover and refrigerate for at lease 1 hour.
Serve with tortilla chips
This was a really fun fresh new way to try salsa. I guess I could explain it as spicy yet refreshing. It was a big hit at our house! Once again I'm sorry for the bad picts. I always seem to know how to make things appear unappetizing.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Cheater Creamy Chicken Noodle Soup

1 can Cream of chicken
1 can Chicken Noodle Soup
1 soup can of milk

Mix ingredients together in a medium saucepan. Heat thoroughly. Enjoy!

I was given this recipe from a friend in college. It made a quick easy meal in between classes. Enjoy!

Taco Lasagna

(Sorry..bad picts! And YES we've been living off paper plates lately!)

1 lb. ground beef
1/2 c. green pepper. chopped
1/2 c. onion. chopped
2/3 c. water
1 envelope taco seasoning
1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 can Mexican diced tomatoes, don't drain
1 can refried beans
Flour Tortillas
2 c. Mexican Cheese blend

Sour Cream

Brown ground beef with green pepper and onion. Add water and taco seasoning, boil for 2 minutes. Then add black beans and tomatoes. Simmer for 10 minutes. In a greased 11 x 13" pan, layer enough tortillas to cover the bottom, refried beans, meat and cheese. Repeat layers. Then top with 2 tortillas and cheese. Cover and bake at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes. Serve with sour cream and salsa.

We happen to have all the ingredients on hand for this recipe so I decided to try it. I don't know if I necessarily would have otherwise. It was pretty good I guess, nothing over the top. Although Mike really liked it. I just felt like it was missing something or it needed a little more zing.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009


Make the Chicken and vegetable filling using this recipe HERE (or if you made already made the chicken pot pie recipe, this is a great way to use the extra filling). You can dilute the filling with a little extra milk if it's too think for your liking.

Make your favorite Biscuit recipe (I was in a time crunch, so I just made up some Bisquick biscuits).

If your filling isn't already warm, then nuke in the microwave until warm. Then drop the biscuit mix on top of the filling.

Bake at 450 for about 10 minutes or until a beautiful golden brown color. Enjoy!

I like to make this when I have left over chicken pot pie filling. It makes for a quick and easy dish.

Campers Delight..Aka Chili Cheese Dip

3 cans chili
8 oz. velveeta (can add more to taste)
1 c. shredded cheddar cheese (plus more for the top)
8 oz. cream cheese (can add more to taste)
Tortilla Chips

Dump your 3 cans of chili in a microwavable bowl (or if camping..dutch oven, etc). Add velveeta, cream cheese, and cheddar cheese. Stir until melted and warm. Dish some tortilla chips in a bowl, add chili dip on top and sprinkle with cheese. Enjoy!

*You can add more Velveeta or cream cheese according to your taste.

Addi made this dip for us when we went camping a few days ago. It was delightful. Although... maybe I'll think twice about serving chili when sleeping in a small confined space!

Friday, September 4, 2009

Homemade Fruit Leather

2 c. strawberry or raspberry puree
1 c. applesauce (don't use the cheap stuff, splurge and get the good stuff..motts, etc)
1 tsp. lemon juice
1/4 c. sugar

Preheat oven to 200 degrees. Puree berries to make 2 cups. (If using raspberries you can put them through a sieve to remove the seeds.) Add applesauce, lemon juice and sugar. Prepare a jelly roll pan by lining the bottom and sides with plastic wrap. Tape the edges on the side of the pan to keep them in place. Pour the fruit leather mixture into pan and spread evenly. Bake about 5 hours or until leather will pull away from plastic wrap. Let the leather sit out for about an hour. Peel the fruit leather off the plastic wrap. Cut fruit leather into desired size. Re-roll the fruit leather into new plastic wrap. Enjoy!

Yummy! This is a fun recipe to make with your kids. Remember the cooking time takes a while, so be prepared..but it IS well worth the wait.

*The cooking time always varies for me. Sometimes it takes a little longer, sometimes just right. Sometimes the edges get a little crispy and the middle is a little gooey. So trial and error is the key I guess. Even if this happens there is a lot you can still use. Also it won't look as gooey once you let it sit out for that hour.

Homemade Granola

7 c. Oatmeal
1/2 c. powdered milk
1 T. cinnamon
1/2 c. oil of choice(We used a mix of canola & olive oil)
1 c. honey
1 T. vanilla

We also used:
1 small bag Craisins
1 small bag Almond Slices
3/4 c. Ground Flax Seed
1/2 c. Wheat Germ

slivered almonds
dried fruits etc.

Combine oatmeal, powdered milk and cinnamon. Add oil, honey and vanilla. Stir well (the oil and honey will separate, but stir together the best you can).
Add any other mix-ins and toss.
Bake on a jelly roll pan (you'll need 2 jelly roll pans) at 200 degrees for 2 hours (your home will smell amazing). You won't need to stir while baking, but once you take it out of the oven, you'll need to let it sit out and let it dry until it hardens.

Tip: depends how many extras you add in, you may need to add a little bit more honey

We love granola! I just haven't found any cheap knock off granola cereal that I like, so homemade is cheaper and better. We like to snack on this all day long!

Additional tip: To make your cereal go further, add a box of Special K with yogurt bits to your granola for a wonderful mixed cereal. You'll have TONS!

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Cake Mix Butterscotch-Oatmeal Cookies

Recipe From Life Is A Banquet
(who got it from a Betty Crocker Cookbook)

1 cup butter
1/4 cup sugar
1 teas. cinnamon
1 egg
1 box Betty Crocker Supermoist Yellow Cake Mix
2 cups quick-cooking oatmeal
1 cup butterscotch chips

Heat oven to 350 degrees. In a kitchen aid or mixer, beat butter,sugar, cinnamon, and egg on medium speed until creamy. Stir in cake mix and oatmeal until blended. Stir in butterscotch chips. Place on cookie sheet about 2 inches apart and bake 10 to 12 minutes or until light brown.

I know this picture is HORRID! It looks like a blob-o-cookies. Oh well...they were amazing.
Hunter made these for a scout pack meeting tonight, so if my nine year old can make them all by himself, chances are you can too. Mike and Hunter LOVE just about anything butterscotch or oatmealy (Is that a word) so this was a wonderful blend.
Did I mention I LOVE easy cake mix cookies?

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Marie Callenders Chicken Pot Pie...YUM!

Original Recipe From HERE

2 cups water
14 ounces (we used 3 pre cooked chicken breast) boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
2 carrots, peeled and cubed
2 ribs celery, sliced
1 medium onion, chopped
2 tablespoons chicken bouillon granules
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 cup butter
4 tablespoons cornstarch
1 tablespoon flour
1 cup heavy whipping cream
1 cup frozen peas

2 cups flour
1 teaspoon salt
3/4 cups butter
4-5 tablespoons ice water, more as needed

To make the filling:
In 4-quart saucepan combine water, chicken (we boiled our chicken separately), carrots, celery and onion. Bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and cook 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add chicken bouillon, pepper and butter. Dissolve cornstarch and flour into whipping cream and stir into chicken mixture. Simmer 3 minutes stirring frequently until thickened. Add peas and set aside.

To make the crust: Heat oven to 400 degrees.

Combine flour and salt. Using pastry blender (we used our kitchen aid, beater attachment), cut in shortening until particles the size of small peas form. (Switch kitchen aid attachment to dough kneader). Sprinkle one tablespoon of water at a time over flour mixture. Add enough water to hold the dough together. Form into 2 balls. Roll out bottom crust on floured surface (We like to roll it out between two sheets of wax paper) to 1 inch larger than inverted 9-inch deep-dish pie plate. Lift dough off floured surface by rolling onto rolling pin and unroll over pie plate. Ease the dough into the plate loosely and press in place. Trim bottom crust even with edge of plate.

To assemble: Pour filling into bottom crust. Roll out top crust, cut slits for steam to escape. Cover filling with top crust and fold top crust under bottom crust. Seal crust and flute edge. Bake in a 400 degree F oven for 35 to 40 minutes or until the crust is golden brown and filling is bubbling. Let stand 15 to 20 minutes before serving

Oh my, can you say HEAVEN? This was an amazing meal. I think this is the only thing that makes me excited for winter, Chicken Pot Pie on a cold winter night, what could be better?
I LOVE the thickness of the pot pie. I didn't feel it was too runny which is usually what happens to our pot pies. In fact I had to add a little extra milk because it was a little too thick. I also added a few more carrots and celery then it called for. In doing this it made it so we had a lot of extra filling let over so I can make Chicken N Dumplings, or I can thin it out with a little milk and add some noodles to make a hearty chicken noodle soup. I love the possibilities!

Coconut Strawberry Cake

I found this recipe from THE CLOUSE COUSINS wonderful Blog. Thanks ladies!

1 white cake mix-made according to package directions
1 can sweetened condensed milk
1 cup shredded coconut, (plus more for the topping)
1 can cream of coconut (16 oz) or the squeezable cream of coconut. (It's found by the mixers)
sliced strawberries
Whip Cream

Make the cake according to package directions, including the 1 cup of shredded coconut. Pour into a greased 9 x 13" pan. Cook according to package directions usually baked at 350 degrees for 30 minutes). Once the cake is taken out of the oven, poke holes into the cake with the bottom of a wooden spoon. Mix the sweetened condensed milk and cream of coconut together. Drizzle the mixture over the holes. Refrigerate over night, or for a few hours. Just before eating, spread whip cream over the cake. Slice strawberries and add to the top of the cake. Sprinkle with coconut. Enjoy!

I LOOOVEEE anything with coconut or strawberries, so this was the perfect dessert for me. All I have to say is YUMM-O!

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